Creature Feature: Banggai cardinalfish

A population of small reef fish hiding amongst the spines of sea urchins in the Banggai Archipelago, doing their best to avoid capture by the hands of ornamental fish collectors, may now depend on their captors to ensure existence in the wild. The Banggai cardinalfish (Pterapogon kauderni) are in trouble as result of their unique…

Creature Feature: Reindeer

With jack frost nipping at your nose and holiday spiced drinks at your local coffee shop, ‘tis the season to be on the lookout for reindeer. Even if you don’t leave carrots by the chimney for Rudolf on Christmas Eve, reindeer are handsome, hardy animals that inspire thoughts of sparkling white snowscapes, the north woods,…

Creature Feature: Fire Salamander

We’ve seen psychedelic reptiles on this blog before.  Surely, you may be thinking, the pool of psychedelic species is relatively limited. Not so fast!  Poisons are incredibly important for amphibian defense, so there tend to be lots of poisonous amphibians around.  And, for whatever reason, humans like to ingest these intended toxins to try and…

Creature Feature: Laughing Kookaburra

No one likes being laughed at. And no one likes sibling sabotage. The laughing kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae) does both with little regard for what we find objectionable. Laughing kookaburras are the largest kingfisher species in the world and can be described as stout, stocky, and overall pretty thicc [1]. These creepy kooks, like many frightening…

Creature Feature: Loxo and Mud Crabs

In the animal kingdom, zombies really do exist! The cause is most often some nasty (but fascinating) parasites, and you’d best believe that these parasites are truly terrifying to their respective hosts.